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March Madness Betting Estimated to Top $10 Billion

The American Gaming Association (AGA) estimates Americans will wager $10.4 billion on March Madness this year. The number marks a 13 percent increase over last year’s estimated $9.2 billion wagered. Of the $10.4 billion that will be wagered on the tournament in 2017, only about $295 million – or 3 percent – will be wagered legally through Nevada sports books.The remaining $10.1 billion will be spent on illegal offshore websites or through bookies.

Americans annually bet at least $150 billion a year on sports illegally due to the antiquated 1992 federal prohibition on sports betting largely outside of Nevada. Twenty-five years after the passage of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a growing chorus is calling for a regulated sports betting marketplace in the United States. Regulation can ensure that all betting is transparent and that data is instantly analyzed to determine where nefarious behavior may exist.

In the case of the $10.1 billion illegally wagered on the NCAA tournament, data analysis is not possible. Fans who want to help lift the federal ban on sports betting can join the AGA’s grassroots campaign at SportsBettingInAmerica.com.

Each year ahead of the tournament:

  • 40 million people fill out roughly 70 million brackets.
  • Average person completes nearly two brackets.
  • Average bet per bracket totals $29.
  • Half of all March Madness viewers have filled out a bracket at least once in their lifetime.
  • Research shows those who fill out brackets online or through mobile applications are more likely to watch March Madness games.

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